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A Quick Rundown to Using XGen with V-Ray 3.0 and Maya 2015+

I finally got around to really testing XGen with the V-Ray 3.0 beta and it works great. After a brief snag, I discovered that you have to have XGen and all the V-Ray plug-in components set to auto-load in Maya’s plug-in preferences to get everything to work right. Considering how finicky auto-load can be in Maya, maybe look into using my tip from 101 Autodesk Maya Tips to force load plug-ins with a text edit to userSetup.mel. So, with everything loaded correctly, I did a quick little test and it’s working great. There is too much in XGen to cover in one little blog post and the the V-Ray 3.0 XGen docs online cover some other V-Ray specific things, but here is a fast walkthrough to show how you might use it for a simple hair setup in Maya:

The end result there reminds me of the Fred Smith Alva skateboard from the eighties (yes, I’m that old):

Anyway, great to see the progress being made for Maya-specific tools and V-Ray. The 3.0 release is going to be pretty huge.

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Happy Indy Pen Dance Day – Here’s a Gift: An Accurate Sand Shader for V-Ray and mental ray for Maya

I’m waiting to move into my new place in San Francisco tomorrow and noticed that someone asked me on Twitter if I could share this sand shader that I made for some of my Turbosquid assets. So I figured, “why not?,” so here is a download for both procedural shaders for Maya (V-Ray and mental ray):

Sand Shaders Download

Here’s a preview of what they look like:

Enjoy. And may Will Smith save all your nations by injecting a VBScript virus into the gooey organic innards of an invading alien race’s mother ship.

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Stretchmesh Updated for Maya 2015 – OS X and Windows

I tried to compile this a while back but couldn’t get it to build but someone else took the time to get it working, so here is the link to download:

Mac OS X

Windows

You can get the source here:

https://code.google.com/p/stretchmesh/

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moore-ima asked: Maya on Mac – is there a way for the Maya dialog to recognize my second internal drive? I have a primary drive for OS and apps, then a secondary drive for files. I can switch to OS native dialog to do it, but curious why it doesn't show up in Maya dialog.

Maya’s Qt (default) dialog has some odd behaviors so I always use the OS dialog. If you want to switch back and forth between the Qt style one and the native OS one, I made a script that I put in my shelf:

int $dialogStyler = (!(`optionVar -q FileDialogStyle`)); optionVar -iv FileDialogStyle $dialogStyler; if ($dialogStyler == 1) { print "Dialogs set to OS Style"; } else { print "Dialogs set to Qt Style"; }

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renatomarques asked: Hey! I was wondering if you know if Vray supports open cl for mac. Using this way vray rt. Or if there is any other render that takes advantage of the 2 graphics card on the new mac pro. Thanks in advanced!

Hi, unfortunately V-Ray RT’s OpenCL mode has issues on AMD hardware on all platforms. It’s not just a Mac issue, actually. The good news is that the new progressive renderer tech in V-Ray 3 is not GPU-based so everyone will be able to use it, regardless of their hardware. As for other GPU renderers, there are a bunch out there and I just read that Redshift is coming out with a Mac OS X / OpenCL version in the future as well. Hopefully we’ll see that at SIGGRAPH or something soon. But I’m a big V-Ray fan so I just use the distributed rendering with the 3.0 beta’s progressive software renderer.

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Make Frustum Updated to Add/Update All Selected Cameras

Well it’s been a hectic month here since I moved from Montreal to San Francisco. I found a little time between working, getting a car – loving this Ford Fusion Energi SE – and getting a place in the Mission (sweet Jesus, the rent here!) to add a requested feature to this script. You can now add or update the frustum for all selected cameras in version 1.2 of Make Frustum for Maya. Go get it:

http://www.creativecrash.com/maya/script/make-frustum

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quietstorm627 asked: Hey Dave, I really love your make frustum script. Is there any way to add the command to the default camera?(Create camera/camera with frustum applied is what I want it to do) I've tried adding the camera to the shelf/shelf editor/pasted makeFrustum () into the command line of the camera but I get a syntax error. Am I doing something wrong or is it not possible?

ya, sure. It was easy to do so here is a new version of the script with a button to make a new camera with the geo frustum already attached:

http://www.creativecrash.com/maya/script/make-frustum

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Facer 3.2 Posted For Download

The 3.2 update to Facer is up on Creative Crash. The changelog:

  • Triangulate now works with multiple objects.
  • Delete Excess Vertices: Same as hitting delete key with vertex mode and all vertices selected.
  • Made the “3 length” normal button into 20 for viewport 2 since Maya 2015 defaults to viewport 2 and the normals are much shorter in viewport 2.
  • Now tags your last clicked button with a light purple and tags the second last clicked with a dimmer purple and the third-last with an even dimmer one so you can find recently-used button commands easier:
  • Added “Invert selection order” to scripts section. This reverses the order of your selection so that you can do things that require that first-selected objects be the source.
  • Make Shape Here script now has a planar sprite option for making planes that face the camera but that are positionally bound to geometry, for something like leaf cards.
  • Delete namespaces added to Clean-ups section. Deletes all namespaces.
  • NGon fast fix added to clean-ups. This is a workflow I use that extrudes the face and then merges all vertices of the extrusion. It’s good for stuff like poles:

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Two Simple Tips to Speed Up Work with Maya’s Node Editor

The Node Editor was one of the best things to get added to Maya in the past few years but I find that there are two things I usually do right away when using it for materials: expanding it to full mode and graphing the network, so here’s a simple tip to do both at once. Change your Node Editor Default node view mode prefs to “Full Mode” and then use this shelf command to load and graph selected objects when it opens:

NodeEditorWindow;
evalDeferred("NodeEditorGraphUpDownstream");

Then you’ll be ready to start piping stuff together without any added clicks:

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Be Careful With Those Maya FBX Exports

Yesterday I discovered a really nasty bug with Maya’s FBX export. If you export and overwrite a file but it crashes while attempting to save, it will simply zap your old file and save nothing in its place. Considering how much FBX export crashes Maya – sometimes I think it was a deal between Autodesk and fast SSD salesmen – that’s a huge problem. Most programs, including Maya’s save itself, are smart about avoiding this type of scenario and actually save a separate file and then move the other file into the place of the old one on successful write but this is an anomaly. I filed a bug report already. Hopefully it will be addressed soonish.

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